Actress Liz Smith DEAD At 95

Beloved British actress LIZ SMITH has died, aged 95.

Liz Smith

The Vicar of Dibley star passed away on Christmas Eve (24Dec16).

Born Betty Gleadle in Lincolnshire, England, Smith was brought up by her grandmother following the death of her mum and served in the Women’s Royal Naval Service of the Royal Navy during World War Two.

She first enjoyed acting success in her late 40s when she was cast in director Mike Leigh’s TV play Bleak Moments. She also landed TV roles in Emmerdale Farm, Last of the Summer Wine, I Didn’t Know You Cared, Lark Rise to Candleford, and The Sweeney, fast becoming a beloved U.K. television staple throughout the 1970s.

Liz also received a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Maggie Smith’s mother in A Private Function.

In the 1990s she won acclaim as Letitia Cropley in The Vicar of Dibley. Her character was killed off during a 1996 Easter special.

She landed another iconic role in 1998, when she was cast as Nana in British sitcom The Royle Family. The show aired for three years and Smith returned for a special episode in 2006, when her character died.

As well as A Private Function, her movie credits included Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, City of Ember, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, and The French Lieutenant’s Woman, and she provided the voice of Mrs. Mulch in Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

She was famous for playing grandmothers and quirky elderly characters.

Liz Smith

Her autobiography, Our Betty, was published in 2006. She was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2009.

Caroline Aherne, who played Smith’s TV granddaughter in The Royle Family, lost her battle with cancer earlier this year (Jul16).

The actresses’ co-star Ralf Little has tweeted: “Devastating to lose two members of my second family in one awful year. RIP Liz Smith. Goodbye Nana.”